The Angels’ bullpen is an unsettled mess. Their relievers have a collective 7.20 earned-run average in spring training, more than a full run higher than the next-closest team.
Ernesto Frieri, Kevin Jepsen, Sean Burnett, Jerome Williams, Scott Downs, Mitch Stetter and David Carpenter all have ERAs above 5. If the Angels choose to send Garrett Richards to Triple-A Salt Lake to get work as a starter (though it’s unlikely in light of his stellar spring), those seven could comprise the Angels’ Opening Day bullpen.
Even though it’s only spring training, the situation was urgent enough for the Angels to add three relievers Wednesday. Before the Angels’ 6-3 win over the Texas Rangers, they announced the signing of Mark Lowe to a minor-league contract. Lowe threw a bullpen Wednesday and is on the travel roster to go to Anaheim.
After the game, the Angels added two more arms to the bullpen: right-hander Elvin Ramirez and right-hander Dane De La Rosa.
Mark Lowe had a 3.43 ERA in 36 relief appearances for the Texas Rangers last season. (Associated Press)
The Angels are bringing 20 position players and 15 pitchers to the Freeway Series. One name on the list stands out.
Mark Lowe signed a minor-league contract this morning after being cut by the Dodgers on Sunday. Lowe, a XX(B) free agent, finished last season on the Texas Rangers’ roster and had until Tuesday before the Dodgers had to decide to keep or cut him. Coincidentally, the Angels’ final four exhibition games are against either the Rangers or Dodgers.
Lowe, 29, has pitched in parts of seven major-league seasons for the Rangers and Mariners. The right-hander posted a 4.15 ERA in nine Cactus League appearances with the Dodgers (four earned runs in 8 ⅔ innings) while walking three and striking out six. With David Carpenter struggling (5.91 ERA in 12 appearances), Lowe stands a decent chance of making the team. The Angels have four open spots on the 40-man roster.
The other name on the list that seems out of place is Austin Wood, but he’ll probably only get on the mound in case of an emergency. The 22-year-old right-hander finished last season at Low-A Cedar Rapids.
Here’s the full list:
The Angels are worth $718 million, according to Forbes magazine’s annual value rankings of the 30 Major League Baseball franchises.
That’s a nine percent increase compared to last year, though Forbes estimates the Angels’ operating income at negative $12.9 million, down from a year ago.
The Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox and Cubs top the list as baseball’s only billion-dollar-plus franchises.
The Phillies, Mets, Giants, Rangers, Angels and Cardinals round out Forbes’ top 10.
Here’s what Forbes wrote about the Angels:
Jered Weaver had already left the ballpark as the Angels’ bullpen was busy ruining his handiwork. He won’t have that luxury of leaving early next week.
In most other ways Tuesday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, a 7-1 Angels loss at Salt River Fields, had to feel like a regular-season game for Weaver. The Angels’ Opening Day starter allowed two hits, no runs, walked one and struck out three in his final start of spring training. Weaver needed only 87 pitches to get through seven innings.
“It was nice to get under the lights and go out the way you would in the regular season,” Weaver said. “I always try to treat the last game of spring training like a regular season game.”
That he did, against a Diamondbacks lineup that featured at least seven of eight Opening Day position players. (Though it should be noted that three — Jason Kubel, Willie Bloomquist and Aaron Hill, who was hit in the pinkie finger by a Weaver pitch — left with injuries).